The yellow legal pad had a line down the middle: the pros and cons of homeschooling were written on opposite sides of the blue-inked vertical line. Not content with that, I flipped to the next page and drew another line down the middle: pros of public school to the left and cons of school to the right.
July is the decision point.
Are you really going to start homeschooling?
Are you really going to continue homeschooling? Even though it’s time for middle school? Or high school?
Are you going to change your homeschooling? Try something more relaxed? More structured?
Are you going to stop homeschooling and send your child to school?
This is the month of hard choices for many parents who are considering the best way to educate their children. Everyone is looking for evidence of the effectiveness of various education strategies, writing out lists of pros and cons—of homeschooling, of specific curriculum, of going to public school, of unschooling.
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In fact, included in this issue of the newsletter is an article called “When Your Child Goes from Homeschooling to Public School” to help with the transition if that is the decision you will be getting behind. Of course, TheHomeSchoolMom website is full of resources and information that you will find helpful if your decision is to homeschool.
I got so interested in the decision-making around homeschooling, that I expanded this, my message to you, into a full-fledged essay at TheHomeSchoolMom blog, which further explores making hard choices.
All those years ago, my yellow pad’s pros and cons showed that it was a ridiculous time for me to start homeschooling—but the pros and cons could not calculate my heart. For the next twenty years, we learned together at home. A hard choice at the time I made it, but the choice I could get behind.
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When Your Child Goes from Homeschooling to Public School (Featured Article)
Sometimes things change, and your child will go from homeschooling to public school. What should you expect when you start the process? Here are a few first thoughts:
The school is in charge of the school.
This is going to be different. While you were homeschooling independently, you made all decisions regarding your child’s education. The first thing to realize is that your child’s school has policies and procedures that you may not be able to affect. Meeting with administrators may result in some flexibility, and you should advocate for your child, but you are navigating a system that is balancing the needs of many children.
The school may ask for grades and records from homeschooling.
Regardless of the approach you took to homeschooling, the school may ask for your child’s grades and documentation of studies or learning. If you have homeschooled using traditional curriculum, tests, and grades, this may not be hard to provide.
However, some homeschoolers are flummoxed by this since homeschool laws in their state may not have required such records, and their homeschooling philosophy may have been to use a different approach, which was nonetheless effective. School officials are frequently unfamiliar with homeschool laws and may be more accustomed to dealing with students transferring from other schools.
- Explain that you don’t have these kinds of records and weren’t required to keep them.
- Create a document to reflect what your child learned during the homeschool years.
- Show scores from any standardized tests your child may have taken.
It helps to remember that the school generally wants this information in order to determine grade placement. Again, this may not always be in agreement with where you think your child should be placed, but it is often at least a good faith effort at getting your child in the right grade in school.
The school is in charge of grade placement and may use their own assessments.
Sometimes parents are able to easily enroll a child in the grade they request, especially if it is the grade that is typical for the child’s age, and especially during the elementary years.